White hat hackers or ethical hackers are information security experts who can intrude into a computer network or application with the permission of the owners. They can detect any existing vulnerability that any hacker with malicious intent may exploit. Ethical hacking is done to evaluate the security of a system or a network. The process usually involves looking out for any loophole that a hacker may try to exploit or checking if an outsider intrusion is possible. Get to know about ethical hacking in detail below.
How Do Ethical Hackers Work?
Ethical hackers use their skills and technology to test and bypass the IT systems of organizations. While their job is similar to what the hackers do in general, ethical hackers are different because they do the same job with permission from the owner. While malicious hackers are as popular as black hat hackers, ethical hackers use the term white hat hackers. These guys never take advantage of any loophole in the security system or use them for their benefit.
Instead, they document existing vulnerabilities they observe and offer suggestions on the ways to fix the loopholes. Any organization that has an internet-connected network or is famous for providing online services can take the help of an ethical hacker. This will ensure they do not face any threat from a digital intruder.
Uses of Ethical Hacking
There are a few effective ways through which ethical hackers can be of great help to organizations. For instance, they can suggest the best IT practices for your organization. A personalized consultation will help because each business is different, and so are its IT requirements. They provide consultations on the security measures you can take to avoid vulnerabilities. To avoid being a target and putting the data at risk.
They take notes of all the security risks, offer suggestions, and hand them to the company heads. The organizations use the data to make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization. Thus ensuring there’s no breach of security and cyber attacks in the future. Besides this, ethical hackers can also show you the different ways in which cybercriminals can hack into your system. An understanding of the ways a hacker can get into your system will ensure you are ready to handle adversities.
Cyber attacks are destructive as they can bring a business down to the dumps. Most of the time, the companies do not prepare for any such attack. Ethical hackers are the ones who can show you how valuable information can be stolen. The recent outburst of the Ransomewear attack created an increase in the awareness of the white hat hackers and their importance because they can help you ensure your firm isn’t the next target for a security attack.
The Techniques of Ethical Hacking
Ethical hackers use the same process as a malicious hacker would understand your company’s security system. They run the same set of scans to detect any kind of vulnerability. Scrutinizing the patch installation processes, analyzing the network traffic, and evading the intrusion detection systems, firewalls, as well as honeypots to deduct vulnerabilities. Some of the famous port scanning tools that ethical hackers use are Wireshark, Nessus, and Nmap.
These hackers also depend heavily on social engineering methods for manipulating the end-users. Thus they gradually receive information regarding the computing environment of an organization. They also engage the employees of a company in phishing attacks. That said, ethical hackers must never use techniques like threatening an employee physically or using unlawful methods to obtain information. These are the ones that you should avoid at any cost.
How Do You Become an Ethical Hacker?
There is no formal educational degree program that you should pursue to become an ethical hacker. You can be from any background. If you have an interest in building a career as an ethical hacker, make sure you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, information security, or mathematics. While these degrees will help, it is not mandatory if you understand the system well enough to break into it and fix the issues. Did you know that you can also work with the army if you are good with information security?
There are other technical subjects like networking, hardware engineering, scripting, or programming, which can help you pursue a career as an ethical hacker. It’s much in demand these days, and you can contemplate picking it up.